March 16, 2008

2 weeks from tomorrow:

2007, Los Angeles, CA:

This man is 58 years old. I've been watching him do this live since 1981. He has not lost an ounce of passion for the music or an ounce of appreciation for his audience.
He has lost very little, if ANY, energy, and aged gracefully.

People either "get it" or they don't about Bruce. Those of us who "get it" are often asked by well meaning and sincere friends "what is it about him exactly???" All I can say is now you can read it in this book, "For You" by Lawrence Kirsch, and look for my entry on page 137. Here's what I wrote:

Bruce Springsteen is known for many things -
  • his music
  • putting on three-hour concerts full of energy, passion, and fun
  • appreciation of his fans
  • his patriotism
  • integrity in his personal life
  • his political beliefs
  • generosity
  • anti-war views

Although Bruce is often referred to as a "rock star" the label just doesn't fit him. He's a poet, a writer, a performer, a musician, but not a rock star - he rises above that stereotype.

Bruce is known for having some of the most loyal fans in rock and roll history (maybe THE most loyal fans). He has our respect because he remains true to the music, he's willing to take risks and make music he likes regardless of the commercial popularity, he doesn't compromise.

Simply put, his fans love him. We're young, old, male, female, and can be found not only in the USA, but in Canada, Europe, South America (probably even Australia!). He never disappoints any of us and our loyalty is solid. Many of us feel that we know Bruce personally because he's written the soundtracks to our lives, and because he has proved over and over that if he had the time, he'd sit down and talk to any one of us.

You won't see a light show or a fancy stage production at a Springsteen concert, what you'll see, hear and feel is pure rock and roll. The band gives their hearts and souls to every show as if it were the most important one they'll ever do.

Looking out over the audience you can pick out the longtime fans from the newbies. We're the ones in well-worn Springsteen t-shirts from tours gone by. We're the ones who know every word to every song. We're the ones who can't possibly sit down for a song unless its a ballad. We know when to lift our first in unison during certain songs and when we're expected to carry the chorus for Bruce. We may even shed a tear during "If I Should Fall Behind" or "Empty Sky".

Each of the 16**times I've seen Bruce, its been a magical night of music followed by post-concert blues. But he always comes around again, and I will always be my old concert t-shirt, singing along and smiling till my face hurts.


Bond said...

I can only say that there is only one other band/artist whose fans are as loyal and unfortunately, The Grateful Dead passed away when Jerry left us...

Barbara - Layla said...

Bond, wow thanks for reading my long post.

I agree - Dead Heads were a breed of their own. I don't even think of them as "fans" they are another level completely. you said, Jerry is gone. That would be like the E Street Band touring without Bruce - not much point in it.

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Dr. John said...

I am not what you would define as a Springsteen fan, but I do appreciate the music he writes and understand where he is coming from (especially now, living in NJ). I did see him on the Born in the USA tour (I wanted to see what all the fuss was about) and thought the show was very good. That was in 1984 at the beginning of the glitz and glamour rock and roll shows where the important thing was the look rather than the music. Like you said, 3+ hour show, no glitz, no dancers, no costume changes, just good music and good times.

Joe said...

Monday night's show in Milwaukee rocked!! I've seen The Boss with the E Street Band umpteen times and once again I left with chills running up and down my spine. Clarence struggles a bit physically and sat out several songs on an easy chair at the back of the stage, but it was still two-and-a-half hours of magic! He pulled out Saint in the City eight songs in and followed it with Prove it All Night, She's the One and The Promised Land. I could have sworn it was 1977! Then during the 6-song encore he did Meeting Across the River into Jungleland and then Born to Run. WOW!!!! You're in for a treat, but you knew that already.

Barbara - Layla said...

Joe! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got chills just reading your comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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